Hope Notes 5/20/2020

May 20, 2020

Dear Friends of Hope ~    Okay, here we go with Part II of my inquiry into ‘The Blessing’ featuring Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes.  If you missed the opening last week, I’ll give you the link to the song again so you can listen HERE.  And again, I’ll be quoting direct from Scripture, not the song’s exact lyrics.  As we continue on,  we see that the rest of the lyrics come directly from Scripture as well. 
     “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us…” (Psalm 90:17)  What IS God’s favor?  When I looked up favor in the dictionary, gift, blessing and grace were mentioned.  Doesn’t this describe what God has done for us? His Grace (which is undeserved favor) is a blessing and a free gift to believers.  Last week I also promised you I would tell you which lyrics brought me to my knees.  It’s what follows “May His favor be upon you”     ……..and a thousand generations.  And your family.  And your children.  And their children.  And their children.”  Here’s what I found in Scripture:  “…….showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:6)  The reason I cry every time I hear it is because our family has always been very small. I don’t have a known history of generations before me,  nor did I ever expect to have generations follow.  But now our daughter and her husband have a son and I realized that one day HE (God willing) will have children.  And there you have it – the generations that I never thought our family would claim.  I won’t be here to see it, but to think that a part of our family legacy will continue on is staggering to me.  I am blown away by the goodness of God.  I am such a sap that even writing this brings a lump to my throat.  Now let me pull myself together and finish up this song!
     The song comes to a close by invoking the blessing of God’s presence always being with you.  This idea is scattered throughout the Bible. “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you…..(Deuteronomy 31:8), “The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8), and in Psalm 139:5, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”  We need not fear because our God is always with us and within us.  We have His perpetual presence to rely on.  The final verse reminds us that God is FOR us.  “Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.”(Psalm 56:9)  God is and will forever be for you and not against you. We can rest assured that even through our deepest trials, God is with us and for us and has already won our battles.
    This is really just the tip of the iceberg of Scriptures that can be found to corroborate The Blessing’s lyrics.  I’m sure that Cody Carnes dug deep into his Bible and had God’s favor upon him when he sat down to string these gems of verses together.  And I’m so glad he did.

Get out (Exodus 12:31-51)
Have you ever had enough with a particular person and just told them to go away?  Or maybe you just decided to walk away…  Whatever the situation, we understand the feel of being fed up and not being able to just keep enduring what was happening.  The plagues over Egypt were building up to the same kind of breaking point. And the tenth plague was the moment when Pharaoh and the Egyptians told the Israelites to ‘get out’. We’ll look at the payoff of all God’s promises to Israel as they ultimately walk out of Egypt and slavery.  And we’ll find that God’s deliverance was more than they could have believed. Pharaoh finally understood that he couldn’t stand against God.  And Israel was finally free. In these early stories from the Bible, we see so clearly that the God of heaven is a God who saves!

MAY CHALLENGE VERSE – Isaiah 55:8-9 
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Now available on Spotify, Goodle Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts!
Every Monday through Friday Pastor Mark & Dave will be publishing short devotional thoughts on our new podcast, Hope Daily. Please note this is a separate account from our regular Hope Christian Fellowship podcast where you can find our normal Sunday sermons and Wednesday night bible studies. 

Just because we can’t meet together in person, we can still ‘be together’ in our own homes as we tune in and listen to Pastor Mark!  We’ll be continuing on in our study of Ephesians.  Don’t miss this opportunity to stay connected and hear God’s Word.FELLOWSHIP 
SMALL GROUPS  f your small group is still hoping to meet, we have some resources that may be of use to you!
Zoom – This is a great video conferencing app that you can use on your phone or computer. The free version does limit to 40 minute calls.
Google Hangouts – Another great video conferencing app. This limits to 10 users at a time.
In addition to these apps that allow you to see each other, Mark has continued to post our Small Group Study Sheets. If you are looking for something else you could check out one of the following free video based small group studies. Everyone in your small group could watch separately and then you join a video call to discuss. 
Anthology – This is free year round, so check it out and bookmark it.
RightNow Media – This is normally subscription base, but they have made several of their studies available during this time.
If you have any questions, need help, or are looking for ideas other than what is listed here please contact  Dave at dave@hopechristianfellowship.org

Please note that the final Small Group Study Sheet will be going out May 31st.

Stay tuned for our next Zoom!

Stay tuned for our next Zoom!

If you haven’t already, make sure to ‘Like’ our HopeKids Ministries on Facebook and request to join the group(s) below in order to follow all of our curriculum postings:
HopeKids! WonderZone (0-5yr) Facebook Group
HopeKids! GoZone (K-5th) Facebook Group

GoZone: Tuesday nights / The K-5th girls will be meeting from 6:55-7:25 and the K-5th guys will be meeting from 7:30-8:00.  
HopeKids! Hangout:  Friday nights from 7:00 – 7:45 for all K-5th Graders
The link to the meetings will be posted on Facebook. 
Contact Kara May (karajoellxo@gmail.com) or Matt Russell (mattrussell@hopechristianfellowship.org) with any questions.ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thanks to the generosity of our Hopers, we have a nice stash of food and supplies in our Food Pantry.  If you find yourself in need, or just can’t find an item you’ve been looking for, contact our Needs Team at needs@hopechristianfellowship.org and we will see if we can help!

Our live streams are now also available on our website.  Anyone can go to our website and watch our Sunday Services or any other live stream from our church by simply going to our website (www.hopechristianfellowhip.org) and clicking on ‘view live stream’.  This means we can share our church services to anyone – even people without Facebook or YouTube accounts. 

GIVING TO HOPE While we are not meeting in person, you all have proven in many ways that church is still very much happening. Your response to donating for our food pantry and your commitment to connection have truly been a blessing.
As a church, we also continue to have bills to pay. So we ask that you be as faithful as you can be in giving to Hope. We have updated our online giving categories to better reflect where our money is going. These additions include our benevolent fund which is being used to help meet the tangible needs of our Hope family during this time.  If you are currently in need (food, financial, or otherwise) don’t hesitate to reach out to needs@hopechristianfellowship.org.
Listed below are some ways to give:
1.  ONLINE GIVING – Visit hopechristianfellowship.org and click ‘give online’.
2.  TEXT-TO-GIVE –    609-251-4223
3.  MAIL A CHECK –    246 King St. Woodbury, NJ  08096

Now more than ever it’s important that we are able to stay connected with each other.  We can have access to the entire church directory on our laptops or on our phones through the app.  We’re better able to connect if we are all participating in the directory.  To sign up, simply contact Emily at emilydilorenzo@hopechristianfellowship.org and she will get you set up!

If you or anyone you know is facing the loss of their job, Governor Murphy recently posted this helpful information:
Businesses across New Jersey are looking to hire THOUSANDS OF WORKERS, including those who lost their jobs or have had hours reduced as a result of COVID-19. Check out this link in order to help with your job search:  https://jobs.covid19.nj.gov

He is For You,